“Open The Door…”
Cue the melodramatic music, and watch-in disbelief- as the heroine, in slow motion, reaches out her hand to turn the door knob, opening the door to let the evil inside…
That was not going to be me, I felt like I was sleep walking, this was the stuff that nightmares were made of.
At least the nightmares that I had been having for the last several months. What a surreal moment, I knew that it could not be true, that I should pinch myself to make sure that I was awake. Standing in front of the door in my pajamas, waiting for the Director to yell “CUT!”.
Luckily, sanity took hold and I pulled my hand away from the door at the last second.
In my dreams I had never felt my heart beat so hard, threatening to burst out of my chest.
Or felt the hair on my arms stand straight up.
This was real, I was awake.
Even though Larry and I had planned, for weeks, for every possible situation, all our planning had been for naught, this had not even been a possibility.
Hubby was supposed to land in the states, TODAY.
On the West Coast, TODAY.
He should not be HERE, not NOW.
But he was.
No more wondering, in fear. No more worrying myself to death as I waited.
I had the answer to the question, “When would Hubby arrive?”
I had been fearing the question.
Now, knowing, I feared the answer more.
At this point in the story…
Everyone asks, “What did you do?”
This seems to be the pivotal point.
What I did, at this very moment, could change the story-line.
Right here, right now.
This moment defined my future.
I had several options.
I could have opened the door, allowed him to have his say. Let him grovel in person, instead of over the phone. I knew that everyone expected me to do this.
To see the error of my ways. To rip the Scarlet Letter off of my chest, denouncing my relationship with Larry. Falling at the feet of my Hubby sobbing for forgiveness.
To pack my bags and return to my marriage and our home.
Looking in from the outside, maybe this is what everyone thought that I should do.
After all, I was only 21 years old, I had made mistakes, I was too young to understand marriage. My hubby was a respected member of our military. Beloved by his family.
This could have been the answer, it would be the end of this story, our reunion morphed into a “Happily Ever After”.
But, I knew things that the others, those looking in from the outside, did not.
I knew that hubby had hurt someone in the past.
In the recent past.
I also knew that the person that he had hurt was a woman.
A woman who was just doing her job.
When his buddies told me the story they laughed it off.
He was drunk.
It was a boyish misdemeanor.
He missed me.
He missed me so much that he got so incredibly drunk.
So incredibly drunk that he did not remember.
He missed me so much that he got so drunk that he hurt someone, a woman, and he did not remember.
Harlequin Romance Addict…
That was me.
All I heard, all that registered, was that he missed me.
He missed me so much that he got drunk.
He missed me so much that he got drunk and that he did not remember what had happened.
Actually, all I heard was HE MISSED ME.
Had anyone ever loved me so much that they did unspeakable things-because missing ME-hurt so much?
This must be true love. I was the only thing that he needed in life.
Being with me would make things better. All would be right in our world-if we were together.
I dismissed the fact that he had hurt someone. I am not sure that I even heard that part of the story.
I was hung up on the fact that he needed me, he loved me, he missed me.
No one had ever loved me that much.
This had to be it.
The love that I had been searching for my entire life, the whole twenty years of it. I was so desperate to be loved, and loved desperately, none of the other details mattered.
But, right now, in this very moment…
Standing in front of the door, wearing very little clothing, I felt naked. Inside and out. All of the pretenses were gone. Over the last six months the rose-colored glasses had come off.
No longer did I believe that the man on the other side of the door was my one true love.
My other half.
My soul mate.
No longer did I believe that he loved me. No longer did I believe that my absence had pushed him to drink himself into a stupor, absolving him of his actions.
I now saw him for what he was. When he turned and coldly walked away from me in the airport, just 7 months prior, he had given me clarity. I could see him now, who he really was.
Standing in front of the door…
Hand outstretched to turn the knob, I woke up-quickly. A decision had to be made.
All of the expectations weighed heavily, the expectations of friends and family, my expectations of myself. The fairy-tale dreams I had had for my future. But all of these expectations were weighed against my fears.
Fears for my physical and mental well-being. Fears that pointed to a lifetime of terror.
In this very second I had to decide, were my fears real? Was I over-dramatizing the situation?
As my hand hung in mid-air in front of the door my life hung in the balance. My mind was spinning, searching for the answer, and then I heard it, from deep inside.
The last words that were spoken before the connection had been lost.
Words spoken in the Philippines that echoed around the world, “I am going to kill you.”
I slowly backed away from the door, cowering into the dark bedroom. I sat thanking God that I had not been awake, that I had not yet gotten up to make breakfast, that I had not turned on the television. There were no sounds coming from the inside of the apartment, nothing to give away my presence.
Even though I knew he could not hear me, I held my breath, attempting to wait him out. Soon, he would leave.
I prayed that he would leave.
That he would not break down the down.
This was not going to be the day I died.
I was alone, in the dark, in a life before cell phones. I could not text anyone to come to my rescue.
I could not cower in the dark and call someone-anyone, our only phone was in the living room, near the front door.
Never had I been so appreciative for the lack of windows in the apartment.
I could not see out, but, thankfully he could not see in.
Once again the apartment became a “rabbit hole” and I cowered inside, hiding from evil.
Did you miss the Beginning?